Friday, September 28, 2012

How to Permanently Delete a Facebook Account


It's a little frightening that Google led me to Wikihow and Wikihow has the information on the permanent deletion. None of this seems to be, how shall I put it ... western. Maybe it isn't.  Maybe it's the combination of detective work and journalism on some distant Polynesian volcanic island.  "Extra!  Extra!  Read all about it! The Google Detective Agency was reported by The TikiWiki Tribune as being instrumental in deleting the Easter Island Monoliths from Facebook!"

The thing that caught my attention in the Wikihow article is the notion that Facebook still makes you wait fourteen days before it will supposedly permanently delete your account.  If it catches you logging in, then you must not really mean it.

I mean it, Facebook!  I really, really do!  Wikiwho, wikiwhat, wikiwhere, wikiwhen, wikihow ... I will not rest until a permanent deletion becomes a reality.  Facebook can dangle logging in in front of my profile 'til the cows come home, but I will not relent.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Night of the Living Deactivated

Well, I have deactivated my Facebook account.  I made my husband (who has less than 20 "friends" and NEVER logs on...) the administrator for my useless business pages and then, I took the plunge.  It's really liberating.  Everytime I have the urge to open up another little tab to take a "peek" at my newsfeed, I remember, "I'm not on Facebook anymore!" Right now, I'm blogging, which, for me, is a warm-up for writing, and one of the reasons I wasn't blogging or writing is because I was on Facebook.

So, what brought this on?  Yesterday, I was "facebooking," as it's sometimes called, and this article appeared in my newsfeed.  It was posted by my favorite distributist scholar, John C. Médaille:
by D. Joshua Rubin (a blogger for The Motley Fool economic blog)
(I would re-title it 15 Signs Facebook is the Precursor to the Zombie Apocalypse)

Reason Number 1.)  The more time you spend on Facebook the worse you feel.

Resonate much?

I didn't need fourteen more signs of Facebook's pernicious decline, but I read them all, and I would have laughed my way down the list if I weren't actually on Facebook as I read them.

This one, however, did cause me to guffaw:
 Reason Number 8.)  FB is like a billion toddlers jumping on the bed, shouting for mommy's attention.

So very true.  Between newsfeeds, comment threads and picture albums, a typical facebook experience for me looks like this:
"Cute puppies!"  "Obama sucks!" "Romney's a clear and present danger!" "Newborn in intensive care-press 'Like' to show thoughts and prayers!" "Adorable hedgehogs!" "Harry Potter is Life!" "Harry Potter is the Devil's Tool!" "I'm pro-life!" "No, you're not, you're pro-birth!" "I'm pro-choice!"  "No you're not, you're pro-abortion!" "Sweet Miniature Horses!"  "Clydesdales Rule!"  "Kittens playing in a boot!" "Pink for Breast Cancer Research!" "Walk for Breast Cancer Research!" "Jog for Breast Cancer Reasearch!" "Marathon for Breast Cancer Research!" "Obama/Biden!" "Romney/Ryan!" "Cute, sweet, adorable puppy makes friends with cute, sweet, adorable hedgehogs, mini-horses and kittens as a kindly Clydesdale looks on indulgently."

To be liberated from the constant flow of inanities juxtaposed with substantial stuff (like the D. Joshua Rubin piece) has one downside, and it's a big one.

I now have a f'bombie, a Facebook zombie.  One's Facebook account never goes away and the profile "pic" reverts to the generic Facebook faceless head.  A f'bombie pic with your name will show up in friends' lists. One's profile becomes one of the legion of the Facebook Living Deactivated.

So, I put my fingers to keyboard.  I blog.  I work on my short stories and my novel.  I check in with other writers.  I go to my Writers Workshops.  I cook and clean and do some sewing.  I do some graphic artwork.  I walk. I pray. And I try not to think about my f'bombie.

But it's out there. I want to put a bullet in its profile pic, but f'bombie bullets don't exist.  Facebook is the keeper of all deactivated profiles. Perhaps that's Facebook's ultimate evil purpose: to amass an army of digital thralls who sightlessly appear in the lists of the activated; silent reminders that once there existed a profile that could "Like" and "Comment" and "Share."

Now, it seems, f'bombies silently await a command to ... what?

It pains me to think of it.

Lament for a Deactivated Profile
by R. T. Freeman 

Do not try to find my wall
Nor message send my way
My profile should not exist at all
Yet it languishes night and day
It cannot Like, Comment nor Send
Look not to it!  Desist!
To your posts, it may not attend,
For it dwells in Facebook's mist.
My profile cannot see your cat,
Your puppy it cannot "Like",
It cannot comment on your hat
Or share your new website!
Deactivated, that's what they say,
A f'bombie it must be
Faceless, mindless, generic, gray ...
Oh, profile, thou art not free!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Short Story - Finished!

Six thousand four hundred sixty words is the length of my very first short story, Jake's Upper Plate.  I submitted it to my small writer's group for critique and got great feedback.  There is one section that needs to be edited—it's very expository compared to the rest of the piece. I do love a good back story, though, and I thought it was far enough into the piece with enough reader investment in the characters at an emotional level.  I thought I could get away with it.  And I almost did, but thankfully, I got pinched and the rewrite of the section is making me happier.  All the other issues are little things—grammar, a little slip in voice (that damn expository section again) and the teeniest bit of head-hopping.

And it took me about a week and a half.

I took a break from the novel I'm working on.  It's in tatters.  It's the scarecrow in the movie The Wizard of Oz after the flying monkeys get through with him.  The flying monkeys (or winged monkeys, as they are referred to by their creator, the author L. Frank Baum) scared me to death when I was a child, and when I think of all the things that had the potential to hurt me, flying monkeys were in the top ten.  I still shiver, thinking of them.  But I'm sad to say I took a page from the flying monkey playbook—I stood on my novel and threw fistfuls of it all over my desktop.  A file here.  A file there.  The book I thought would be published before any of my other work is now in Writer's ICU. I found myself angry at the large Writer's Workshop to which I belong, not realizing that I don't have to do every change which they suggested.  But, that's me, all over.  And in a way, it gives me a chance to take a fresh approach to the structure, which wasn't serving the plot very well.
Scarecrow: First they took my legs off and they threw them over there! Then they took my chest out and they threw it over there!
Tin Woodsman
: Well, that's you all over!

I will finish editing Jake's Upper Plate and go visit my poor novel next week.  One does feel somewhat fortified by the experience of seeing a piece through from beginning to end and this particular story went like this: character development to setting to writing scenes to knitting the entire thing together with the plot. It was a lovely experience, watching (yes, watching) a story reveal itself in all its narrative cohesivness as I wrote.

I think I'll put a tab on this blog with the story once I have the editing done.

And in the words of Glinda, I address the Wicked Witch of Writer's Despair, and her minions—the flying monkeys bringing desperate and disproportionate editing :
"You have no power here! Begone, before somebody drops a house on you, too!"